The 2017 Public Field Survey saw 30 volunteers brave the beautiful sunshine to explore fields around Coon Valley. We surveyed six large fields and found material in four of them, including a beautiful Raddatz point in a field that had just been disked, so visibility was poor; we wondered what we could have found if the field had gotten some more rain. Another field produced several cores and one large chopping tool. One field that was half-way up the sloping side of the valley had not been disked yet (the farmer was right behind us, though), so the crew raced up there, and found lots of flakes and cores. The hillslope location was surprising, as we normally expect campsites to be on more level ground. Just goes to prove that our hypotheses about site locations need to be tested in the field. Two other fields were disappointingly poor, but local residents indicated that at least one was flooded regularly, so material might be buried more deeply.
The day also featured flintknapping by Jack Larson and his friends who had a flintknapping event at the Norskedalen Heritage Farm. MVAC’s volunteers got to work with some of the regions’ best knappers, see how the artifacts are made, and try it themselves. People also tried their hand at the atlatl, and managed (just barely) not to impale any of the buildings. I think we were successful in convincing people of the power of the atlatl. All told, a very successful day, and thanks to all the participants.